Mark Sturges: Inoculating the Soil and Benefits of Compost MP3

Mark Sturges

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Mark Sturges spoke to an intrigued audience at the 2013 Acres U.S.A. annual conference and showed off all his skills: author, poet, wine connoisseur, self-schooled biologist and farmer. He says there is not enough compost in the world to help farmers, compared with the results that farmers can get when using carefully crafted compost on their crops and soils.

Sturges, a self-styled "fertilizer king," is a longtime organic farmer. His farm, Chili Nervanos in Bandon, Oregon, ships organic compost and creatures of the underground to 30 states. Rather than concentrating on thermal composting or composting with worms, he encourages the greatest number of creatures possible to inhabit his compost. He calls his concept "sending the whole neighborhood," which is sending a functioning ecosystem to distant soils — as opposed to compost that is barely alive. This is the benchmark for making the best possible compost tea. He has been a poet for more than 30 years and is the author of six novels. He is author of the book The Return of the Fertilizer King and Other Tales. 

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